Five ways to ‘bee’ pollinator friendly this summer 🐝
At Fairmont Waterfront, it’s no secret that we love our bees. We were the first Fairmont Hotel to introduce bees to our garden, which we did in 2008. Fast forward to 2023, and our third floor terrace is absolutely buzzing with action, from an observation hive of honeybees to the ‘Bee and Bee’ pollinator hotel, providing habitat for the hundreds of species of solitary bees (our super pollinators) native to British Columbia.
Fairmont Waterfront is proud to work with Chief Beekeeper Julia Common, who looks after our resident bees in the summer months, as well as Carissa Kesper from Seed and Nourish, who looks after our rooftop garden, which plays home to several varieties of herbs, vegetables, fruits and edible blossoms, making it the perfect habitat for our bees.
During the summer months, guests staying at the Fairmont Waterfront get the opportunity to meet our bees on a tour with Julia, and learn about the essential role they play in our ecosystem. Guests can also taste the fruit of our bees’ labour at the hotel – our kitchen team uses the bees honey in our three course pollinator menu available during the summer months, purchase a jar of our honey to take home, or try a cocktail made with gin distilled from our honey!
After visiting us, many guests may feel inspired to do more at home to protect these busy little insects, which are responsible for pollinating over one-third of the food crops we rely on for sustenance. Sadly, in recent years, bee populations have been in decline due to habitat loss, climate change, pesticide use, and other factors. However, there are steps we can all take in our daily lives to help save the bees. In this blog post, we’ll explore some pollinator-friendly things you can do to make a difference!
Plant native flowers and plants
One of the simplest and most effective ways to support bees is by planting native flowers and plants in your garden or on your balcony. Native plants are well-adapted to the local climate and soil conditions and provide bees with the pollen and nectar they need to survive. Some good examples of native plants for bees include sunflowers, lavender, and wildflowers.
Avoid using pesticides
Pesticides are harmful to bees and other pollinators and can have devastating effects on their populations. Instead of using chemical pesticides, try natural alternatives such as neem oil, garlic spray, or diatomaceous earth to control pests in your garden.
Provide nesting sites
Many bee species nest in hollow stems or holes in the ground. You can help support these bees by leaving some bare ground in your garden or by providing nesting sites such as bee hotels life the Bee and Bee Pollinator Hotel at the Fairmont Waterfront, which are available for purchase or can be made at home using materials like bamboo or drilled logs.
Support local beekeepers
Buying honey and other bee products from local beekeepers is a great way to support bee populations in your area. By purchasing local honey, you are supporting beekeepers who are working hard to maintain healthy and sustainable bee populations.
Lastly, spreading awareness about the importance of bees and their declining populations is essential. You can do this by sharing information with your friends and family, supporting local initiatives aimed at saving bees, and encouraging your local government to take action to protect pollinators.
Saving bees and other pollinators requires collective efforts from everyone. By taking small but meaningful actions in our daily lives, we can all contribute to protecting bees and ensuring that they continue to play their vital role in our ecosystem.
Interested in learning more about Fairmont Waterfront’s bees? Head to our YouTube channel to learn about beekeping from Chief Beekeeper Julia Common, or even better, book our Bee Sustainable package and enjoy luxury accommodations in a room opening onto our garden, a private tour of the garden and bee apiary, three course pollinator menu in ARC Restaurant + Bar, and a jar of our rooftop honey. Plus, your stay will include a donation in your name to Hives for Humanity to support the Pollinator Corridor Project!